Digital humans have emerged as a fascinating technological innovation in China, offering a range of applications from live broadcasts to customer interactions. However, beneath the surface of this innovation lie significant challenges and limitations that must be carefully navigated. This essay explores the obstacles and constraints faced by individuals and businesses in China when working with digital humans, drawing upon insights and examples from the article “Stop boasting about digital people”.
Challenges and Limitations
- Cost-Effectiveness: One of the primary challenges associated with digital humans in China is the cost-effectiveness of implementing this technology. While the article mentions that digital humans can be an attractive alternative to hiring human anchors for live broadcasts, the initial investment and ongoing costs can be prohibitively high for small businesses. For instance, Boss Wang in the article was enticed by the idea of using a digital anchor to cut costs, but the actual cost of implementation and the subsequent banning of the digital anchor’s broadcast revealed the financial risks involved.
- Technical Limitations: Digital humans in China, especially 2D versions, often face technical limitations. These limitations manifest in the form of limited interactivity and expressions. As mentioned in the article, digital humans may fail to make eye contact or respond naturally to user inquiries, which can compromise the quality of the user experience.
- User Trust and Engagement: Building trust and engaging users effectively with digital humans is another major challenge. Younger audiences in particular have high expectations of anchor expressiveness and authenticity. If digital humans cannot establish this trust, they may struggle to retain and engage audiences effectively, as seen in Boss Wang’s experience with the banned Douyin broadcast.
- Live Broadcasting Regulations: The regulations imposed by platforms like Douyin that require real-time interaction to be driven by a real person during digital human live broadcasts pose significant limitations. This restriction hampers the full potential of digital humans in live scenarios, making it difficult for businesses to exploit the technology’s capabilities.
- Privacy and Fraud Risks: The article touches on the risks associated with the misuse of digital human materials for privacy violations and telecommunications fraud. China’s strict regulations on data privacy and the potential for misuse make it crucial for companies to exercise caution when handling personal information through digital humans.
- Content Quality: The quality of responses provided by digital humans is contingent on factors like training and the questions asked. Poorly crafted training or inadequate questions can lead to inaccurate or nonsensical responses, diminishing the effectiveness of digital human interactions.
While digital humans offer a promising avenue for businesses and individuals in China to streamline their operations, engage with audiences, and cut costs, it is vital to recognize and address the challenges and limitations they present. These challenges include cost-effectiveness, technical constraints, user trust, regulatory restrictions, privacy concerns, and content quality. Navigating these hurdles requires a nuanced approach that takes into account the specific needs and expectations of both businesses and users.
Ultimately, the success of digital humans in China hinges on striking a balance between harnessing their potential and mitigating their limitations. To achieve this, businesses must remain vigilant, stay informed about evolving regulations, invest in training and technology, and prioritize user trust and engagement. By doing so, they can unlock the true value of digital humans and ensure their integration into the Chinese digital landscape is both effective and sustainable.